For foodies, getting into the kitchen on a weekend is a form of fun and relaxation. It’s the perfect time to try new things, learn new techniques and enjoy the fruits of your labor for dinner.
Years ago, our Culinary Officer took the time to teach me how to make pasta. At first, I thought she was crazy, but it was so much fun, not to mention delicious.
This recipe for Nonni Maria Julia’s Ravioli gives you a perfect pasta assignment. It’s a recipe shared by the Sangiacomo family in Northern California. The family is know for expansive, beautiful vineyards in the Sonoma Valley.
It all began in 1927, when Vittorio and Maria Sangiacomo bought a 52-acre fruit-tree ranch in Sonoma. Today, three generations live on, or near, the vineyards and are involved in practically every aspect of keeping the family legacy going.
The family is sharing this recipe for Nonni Maria Julia’s Ravioli and Gravy Sauce that’s been passed down for generations. Each year, the estate winemaker selects a few special barrels from the vineyards and blends an exceptional wine to honor Maria Julia and Vittorio.
A 2016 Sangiacomo ViMaria Pinot Noir is the perfect option for pairing with this ravioli and a great reward for your pasta-making efforts. You can find more about the wide range of wine offered and the story of the family vineyard here.
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water as needed
- 1 pound of a mixture of ground beef, pork and veal (use any combination)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup cooked Swiss chard, inner tough spine removed
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed from woody stems
- 4-5 leaves sage and 4-inch stem marjoram (Optional: other seasonal herbs can be used but encourage FRESH, i.e. parsley, thyme or oregano)
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 4 large onions
- 4 short ribs
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage thyme and oregano); any combination that you have in your garden or on hand
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 cup red wine with additional liquid added if necessary
- 1/2 cup Marsala
- 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree (Italian plum tomato puree recommended)
- 1 can (16 ounces) tomato sauce
- Large handful dried Italian mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon Sugar or Jam
- Dash red pepper flakes or hot sauce
- As desired Salt
For The Dough
- 1 Combine the Olive oil, salt and eggs. Gently mix together adding drops of water as needed until all the flour is absorbed and the texture is smooth.
- 2 Gather the dough together and begin to knead.
- 3 Cover with a bowl slightly larger than the dough so that it doesn't dry out.
- 4 Let the dough “rest” until you are ready to make the ravioli.
- 1 When ready to make the filling, rinse herbs and dry thoroughly. Mince fine along with the garlic.
- 2 Brown the ground meats in a pan and drain. When browned and drained, pulse together in a food processor and add back into unrinsed pot.
- 3 Cook Swiss chard and pulse in the food processor. Press water out until almost dry, then cook in the same pan as the browned beef and pork until any additional moisture evaporates. Put ground meats and Swiss chard in a large bowl.
- 4 Add herbs, salt and pepper, garlic, cheese and eggs. Mix together.
- 5 Begin to add the bread crumbs slowly until the filling holds together nicely. Set aside.
- 6 Cut one-quarter piece of dough, keeping the remainder covered so it does not dry out.
- 7 Flatten the piece of dough with your hands to an approximate 4-inch oval of 1-inch thickness.
- 8 Make sure the dough is floured well so that it does not stick when it goes through the pasta machine’s cylinders.
- 9 Set the pasta machine at 10 and run the dough through the cylinders.
- 10 Repeat the process, re-setting the machine at 8, 6, 4 and then 1.5. This will allow the dough to stretch easily as the pasta sheet achieves the desired thickness and length.
- 11 Fold over the sheet of dough, marking the mid-point corners to indicate the half-point of the dough. Using the mid-point markings, cut the dough in half.
- 12 Spread 4 large dollops of filling over one sheet of the dough.
- 13 Top with second sheet.
- 14 Using a wooden yardstick, measure and mark ravioli pieces.
- 15 Cut ravioli with ravioli cutter.
- 16 Store in a box layered with parchment paper to prevent the pieces from sticking and drying out.
- 17 Repeat until all dough is used.
- 18 Save the scraps. Freeze and serve them with leftover sauce for light dinner.
- 19 To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of water to the boil, adding several tablespoons of salt to the water.
- 20 Drop the ravioli into the boiling water, stirring just a bit to split them up.
- 21 Cook until the ravioli rise to the top of the pot, approximately 2 minutes. Drain. Place Ravioli in Gravy sauce (see recipe), sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
- 1 Heat 2-3 tablespoons Olive oil in a deep pot.
- 2 Salt both sides of the short ribs and add to the pot and sear on all sides to seal the juices.
- 3 When the roast is nicely browned, remove from pan and set aside.
- 4 Cut onions into a small dice and add to pot with a couple tablespoons of salt.
- 5 Sauté until the liquid from the onions evaporates and the onions develop a lightly browned crust on the bottom. (Patience: the browned bottom crust from the onions will enhance the flavor of the gravy).
- 6 Re-constitute the dried mushrooms by pouring hot water over them in a small bowl. Set aside.
- 7 Mince garlic and the fresh herbs.
- 8 Add the minced garlic and the herbs to the onion mixture.
- 9 Cook for 3-5 minutes.
- 10 Drain soaked mushrooms and save water. Puree or mince the dried mushrooms and add to the pot.
- 11 Add wine until reduced and absorbed into the onion-herb mixture. You may need to add a little more wine as the mixture cooks down to avoid burning the onion–herb mixture.
- 12 Add can of tomato puree, tomato sauce and mix until absorbed.
- 13 Return the roast meat to the sauce.
- 14 Add the mushroom liquid, bring to the boil and then lower heat to a simmer.
- 15 Check for taste frequently—add more sugar or jam, hot sauce and more salt if needed.
- 16 Let cook at a medium simmer on top of the stove for 2-3 hours until the meat begins to break down and melds into the liquid. Remove from stove top, set aside and remove remaining meat from gravy. Set aside.
- 1 Place Meat on a dish along with the Ravioli’s and Gravy.